Broken (LOST #1)
by Cynthia Eden
The first novel in New York Times bestselling author Cynthia Eden's sizzling LOST series introduces the Last Option Search Team, an elite unit that must protect the only surviving victim of a serial killer.
Ex-SEAL and LOST founder Gabe Spencer is accustomed to the unusual in his job. But when knockout Eve Gray steps into his office, he's rattled. For the mysterious woman is a dead ringer for the heiress thought to be the latest prey of the serial killer who goes by the name Lady Killer.
When Eve awoke in an Atlanta hospital, her past was a blank slate. Then she recognized her own face in the newspaper and vowed to learn the truth. Determined to confront the nightmares hidden in her mind, she never expects to find a partner in Gabe.
As Gabe and Eve work together, their explosive attraction becomes irresistible. Gabe knows that his desire for Eve is growing too strong, bordering on a dangerous obsession, but nothing pulls him away from her. And when another Eve lookalike disappears, Gabe vows to protect Eve at all costs. While Eve may have forgotten the killer in her past, it's clear he hasn't forgotten her.
“Do you think I’m a con artist or a victim?”
“I think you’re a woman who has been hurt.” No denying that. “One of my team members, Wade Monroe, is contacting the Montgomery family. We’ll get DNA from them and find out—”
“If I’m Jessica.” There was hope in the words. Enough hope to break his heart.
“When will we know?”
It would take a few days, even with the strings that he could pull. “As soon as possible,” he said, not wanting to give her a specific timetable.
“Thank you.” Then, just like that, she was across the car, giving him a tight hug. “Thank you.”
His arms wrapped around her, an instinctive response. She smelled faintly of flowers, a sweet scent that teased his nose, and her body was soft against his.
She tried to pull away, as if realizing what she’d just done.
For an instant he was tempted to hold her, to keep her close.
She’s a client. Focus.
He let her go, but his body ached.
“I … um … I should get inside.”
Yes, she should. While he was still clutching tight to his control. The control that said he shouldn’t push her. Shouldn’t want her so much. Not when she’d already been hurt so badly.
Her fingers reached for the door.
“Let me,” he said, voice rumbling, and Gabe climbed from the Jag. In seconds he was on the passenger side, opening her door for her. She rose, and her body brushed against his.
He stepped back. Distance. He seriously needed to put some distance between then. But even with some fast steps back, he could still smell that light and sexy scent that clung to her body. And he still wanted her.
“Your shrink asked me a lot of questions about you,” Eve told him as she stood temptingly close.
Gabe inclined his head. “I’m sure—”
“I think she wanted to know why I respond so much to you.”
Oh, hell, she’d just said … He cleared his throat even as part of his body surged in quick response to her. “It’s a tense situation, you’re—”
“You don’t look at me as if I’m a victim.”
He stopped talking.
“I mean, you know what I am, but you still look at me and seem to just see me … as a woman.”
“Others see you the same way.” Doc Tyler sure did. Bastard.
“It’s different with you,” she murmured as she stepped even closer to him. Her head had tilted back so she could look into his eyes. “I don’t know what I’ve felt for other men before.”
Why did the idea of others have his body knotting with tension?
“But I know that when I see you, I want.” A hushed confession. “I just … I needed to tell you that.”
And he needed to make his self-control a hell of a lot stronger. Her lips were just inches from his, and he wanted her mouth beneath his. Wanted her lips open. Needed to taste her.
“You’re the first man I’ve wanted since I opened my eyes in that hospital.”
He could actually feel his control splintering. Client. Cli—
“You probably don’t want me. I—I might not be your type.”
Now her gaze had fallen, as if in embarrassment. Had she really just asked if she was his type? She was probably every damn man’s type.
“But you make me feel normal again, so I had to tell you—”
His fingers curved under her chin. “Eve …”
Her smile was a little too big. Too bright. “I don’t think I can handle anything else right now, I’m …” She pulled away. Stumbled onto the sidewalk. “I just wanted to tell you how I felt,” she told him again.
Then she walked into the shelter, her steps hurried. As if she were running.
He stared after her. She wanted him.
And she was so fucking beyond his reach.
I have never read a Cynthia Eden book that I didn't love and Broken is no exception. Talk about romantic suspense at it's finest... This woman knows how to write the mystery of whodunit like nobody's business!
I was on the edge of my seat from the prologue and didn't stop wondering until the very end. I had my suspicions, of course, as to who the Lady Killer was but every time there was another hint dropped I found myself second guessing and wondering if it couldn't be someone else. And let me tell you... Even though my suspicions were right in the end, I was not disappointed in the least at the story that Ms. Eden told.
Eve is a blank slate, a woman with no past that she can remember, and is desperate to find out who she is. After learning about LOST she goes to see Gabe in hopes that him and his team can uncover the mystery of who she is and if she's a victim of the Lady Killer.
Gabe is suspicious in nature and doesn't trust easily so when Eve shows up in his office stating that she thinks she's a victim of the Lady Killer but claiming to have no idea of who she even is, he's suspicious. Attracted to her... But not entirely convinced she is who she thinks she is.
The attraction between Eve and Gabe sizzles right off the bat. Gabe is the first guy she's been attracted to since she woke up in the hospital so she's definitely interested in seeing where it can lead while Gabe is trying to be the good guy and not get involved. Usually I'm not a fan of the constant back and forth of I want you but I can't have you but in this case it actually worked for me. It was nice to see the heroine pursuing the hero rather than the other way around.
Let me just say that I absolutely loved Gabe. He was possessive, protective, and loyal... Everything a romantic suspense hero should be. I loved that he was there for Eve no matter what, especially after some shocking revelations came to light. And when he opened up about his own past? It was perfect!
Eve was a little tougher to love simply for the fact that it was hard to get a grasp on who she really was. She went through so much and when she started getting her memories back she had some major self doubt but in the end she definitely held her own.
My only real complaint would be the epilogue. It really just felt like a continuation of where the last chapter left off and I would have much rather seen a look into the future to see how Eve and Gabe's relationship worked after all the drama. I'm guessing we'll see more of them in the next book in the series though and I can't wait!
Broken has everything I look for in a romantic suspense... On the edge of my seat suspense, smexy times, protective hero, crazy killer, and twists and turns that have you guessing until the very end. Whether you're a long time Cynthia Eden fan or not, if you're a fan of romantic suspense you should definitely give Broken a chance!
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Disclosure: I was provided with an ARC of Broken in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.